Article written by miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

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  1. Paulo
    Paulo July 30, 2006 at 6:07 am |

    XXII or 22???

    Well my theory goes something like this…

    When I was in “the Rat Race”, I can remember when analogue clocks were on every wall. Of course the HR department got wind of accuracy and efficiency in the workplace and did away with these handsome timepieces and replaced them with digitalality numbered timing systems. With an ominous glow, not unlike of the HAL 9000 computer, (re 2001 A Space Odyssey) these clocks tended to give an unrealistic sense of time. Being motionless and (other than the time they show)… looking exactly the same all day long – believe it or not, these timepieces seemed to make work-time “drag”, or “fly by”. (Excuse the pun) On the other hand, time on a clock face with sweeping armatures – having to move through a vast amount of space – “a watcher of this kind of clock”, could more effectively portion a days’ tasks/workload or for that matter the amount of effort to do so.

    I figure this short story about a boy (“Un”-evoving into a man). One may think, by today’s standards (and maybe when this was written) he is a wee bit of a late bloomer. It is my thinking that: XXII sounds (and looks) more robust that 22. “Hitting XXII” the young man may feel that quite a bit of time has pasted by… whereas 22, may seem that he has lived only a very short portion of his life. At XXII, he is feeling the “maturity-tug” from others… ie.: that more is now expected of him and he must get on with his ”manly duties and pursuits” and give up his touchy-feely “childish ways”.

  2. a
    a July 30, 2006 at 7:36 pm |

    I think of it as some kind of autism. The flexibility of object relations, the senses becoming assaultive, objects become deafening. (One of the less popular theories of autism is that it comes from a lack of mediation of sensory input, so that even the slightest sound is like a gunshot.)

    Reminds me a little bit of Cortazar’s short stories too.

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